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Newspapers Lost 1,300 Editorial Staffers in 2013

ShutterstockNewspaperStack_FeaturedAccording to The American Society of News Editors’ annual census, newspapers are more diverse despite losing three percent of newsroom staff.

Overall, there were about 36,700 full-time journalists employed at roughly 1,400 papers in 2013. That’s represents a 1,300-person decline, from 38,000 in 2012. Of those journalists, about 4,900 (13 percent) are racial and ethnic minorities. That’s a 200-person increase from 2012.

“Producing the employment census each year is a significant effort on the part of ASNE, but as the leaders of America’s newsrooms, we feel it’s essential to keep this data front and center,” said ASNE President David Boardman, in a statement. ”We remain committed to doing all we can to help our newsrooms, and our news reports, better reflect the diverse nature of the communities we cover.”

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NY Times Profits Plummet 21 Percent

As usual, the New York Times’ earnings report features both good and bad news (we suppose that pun is intended). While the Times’ digital subscriptions continued to grow, the lack of print ad dollars weighed the paper down. The end result was a 21 percent drop in profits during the second quarter.

The Times added 32,000 digital subscribers during the second quarter, bringing its total to 831,000 — a number that should make staffers proud. Still, total revenue dropped by 0.6 percent, mainly due to a four percent decline in ad revenue. Net income also declined from $20 million in 2013′s second quarter, to just $9 million this quarter.

“We saw continued growth in digital advertising and circulation revenues during the quarter,” Mark Thompson, CEO of the Times Company, said in a statement. “But know that we still have more work to do to transform our business and deliver long-term sustainable revenue growth for the company.”

Michael Wolff: NY Times Should Buy CNN

CNN304x200Michael Wolff has an interesting take on who/what should buy CNN should it ever be up for sale: The New York Times. Well, Wolff wrote that the “most obvious buyer is CBS,” but his runner-up is the Gray Lady.

Before you laugh this off, it’s actually an interesting idea. Wolff says the partnership would benefit both brands. The Times would gain the much needed ad dollars that come with TV. Meanwhile, CNN will finally be seen as a respectable news company if it has to maintain the standards set by the Times.

“In that combination, news, increasingly devolving from platform specificity, takes a major leap forward by creating a quality news company widely distributing its product through all outlets,” explained Wolff. “Television can’t do quality news, but it has great profits. Print still has high news standards, but ever-dwindling profits — so voila!”

Voila! Now let’s make this happen.

NY Times Supports Legal Weed, But Won’t Let Staffers Toke

NYtimes buildingTalk about a buzz kill, brother bear. Over the weekend, The New York Times declared that it supported the complete decriminalization of marijuana, and yet, it won’t let employees share a bong in the newsroom.

A Times spokesperson told The Huffington Post that potential employees will still be required to pass a drug test before getting hired. “Our corporate policy on this issue reflects current law,” said the spokesperson. “We aren’t going to get into details beyond that.”

In a series of editorials, the Times said that pot should be legalized — just like tobacco and alcohol — and states should be responsible for making the call:

There are no perfect answers to people’s legitimate concerns about marijuana use. But neither are there such answers about tobacco or alcohol, and we believe that on every level — health effects, the impact on society and law-and-order issues — the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization. That will put decisions on whether to allow recreational or medicinal production and use where it belongs — at the state level.

Media React to NYT Op-Ed Urging Legalization of Marijuana

In the marijuana world, today’s date could become a three-digit rallying cry almost as seminal as the San Rafael, California-coined slang ”420.”

AndrewRosenthalThisWeek

For it is in the 7-27 Sunday print edition that the New York Times editorial board has officially come out in favor of the nationwide legalization of marijuana:

In coming days, we will publish articles by members of the editorial board and supplementary material that will examine these questions. We invite readers to offer their ideas, and we will report back on their responses, pro and con.

We recognize that this Congress is as unlikely to take action on marijuana as it has been on other big issues. But it is long past time to repeal this version of Prohibition.

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Newspaper Reporter Explains the Reasons for His Departure

KevinSabanKevin Sablan (pictured), one of the Orange County Register journalists who recently took a buyout, has blogged today about how that decision was reached. He devotes a great deal of his post to what were, for him, the better Register days:

During my first eight years at the paper, I worked on advancing our digital efforts. I started as a slightly glorified Web monkey, part of a team that got stories online and made sure the site’s many moving parts were updated throughout the day.

Freedom. It was a great time. There weren’t enough bosses to review everything that published online, and standards were still being set. I could experiment without fear of losing my job. I threw in some fancy CSS and JavaScript trickery. I did things like embed a tour of the Rose Parade (a Google Map that could be navigated with custom buttons) into an article. I made tables sortable. I never had to ask for permission…

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Kentucky Resident Responds to NYT ‘Persistent Poverty’ Coverage

NYTHelpMeKYDuring the last weekend of June, the New York Times Magazine asked: “What’s the Matter With Eastern Kentucky?” Today, via an op-ed in The Floyd County Times, Jonathan Gay answers with the equivalent of: “Less than you think.”

Gay is the director of the Kentucky Innovation Network office in Morehead, where he works with local entrepreneurs. He
argues that the piece by Annie Lowrey was a classic case of big-city myopia and explains how he, pro-actively, is moving forward:

Rather than wait on the New York Times to tell that [hopeful] story, we’ve decided to start telling it ourselves. Through words, photos, tweets, social media and video, we will soon be launching a Web effort to tell the tales of entrepreneurs living in eastern Kentucky. We’ll begin with one each from the six eastern Kentucky counties the Times reported as being in the bottom 10.

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Daily News Calls Mayor an ‘Ass’

NY_DN

The New York Daily News has had it with Mayor de Blasio. The paper — along with Liam Neeson — desperately (and sort of weirdly) wants the mayor to allow the carriage horses to continue their work in Central Park. De Blasio, meanwhile, wants to replace them with electric cars.

To prove how many people care about the horses, the Daily News dropped 40,000 signed petitions at the mayor’s office. When de Blasio sent an aide to pick them up instead of doing so himself, the staff at the Daily News lost their minds. The result? Today’s front page.

Hey, at least they called him “Mr. Mayor.” Could have been worse.

New York Observer Posts Slideshow to End All Slideshows

Like most people, your FishbowlNY editors are not fans of the slideshow. We want to see all the pictures and/or content on one page, thank you very much. But even we have to admit that The New York Observer’s slideshow of people reading The New York Observer is extremely strong work.

The title of the slideshow — Readers React: Cooling Off with the Hot Ethan Hawke Issue — doesn’t do it justice. This can never be topped. A paper publishing 19 pictures of people reading the same paper is pure genius.

In fact, the only downside to this is that the Observer might have set the bar for slideshows too high. But who among us will complain that a star shines too brightly?

Newspaper Reporter Listed as ‘Endangered Job’


Newspaper reporter — along with meter reader, travel agent, lumberjack (sorry Dexter!), flight attendant and more — has been named one of the most endangered jobs of 2014. Even the Dodo went out more gracefully than this.

According to CareerCast, there’s pretty much no hope for the newspaper reporter:

Declining subscription and dwindling advertising sales have negatively impacted the hiring power of some newspapers, while others have ceased operations altogether. Online outlets continue to replace traditional newspapers, and the long-term outlook for newspaper reporters reflects the change.

Well, that’s certainly depressing. Accurate, but depressing.

[Image: Shutterstock]

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